My Freedom ROCKS! Emotional Healing and Self Love

freedom rocks self love self care
My Freedom ROCKS!!

I have decided to throw my Freedom Rock in the pond in our pasture right here on our farm over 1800 miles away from the child abuse that I suffered but where the emotional abuse of my childhood continued even as an adult and where my depressions increased until I no longer believed there was any hope for me. This is also the place where I did my healing. This is the land that I rode my horse on for hours and days on end, walked for hours meditating and contemplating what had happened to me and the false messages that I believed because of it. This is the land that I raised my kids on and the land where I took my life back.   

My freedom ROCK is going to be based on the following quote by Alice Miller

“The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our lives; with cruelty or with tenderness and protection.” Alice Miller

I made a decision quite a while ago that I was done treating myself the same way that I had been treated by others. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Enforcing that decision that I was “done discounting me” has been a whole other ball game. In the beginning I came to realize that I had put myself last so much and for so long that I never even considered what I might have wanted and when asked I didn’t have an answer. The learning curve on this one has been huge for me. Even in wholeness I didn’t listen to myself, just like I had not been listened to. I had to learn to listen to myself and validate what myself was trying to tell me. If I was tired, I had to learn to let myself rest. If I was hungry I had to learn to nourish myself with healthy foods. I had to learn to “catch” the con job that I was doing on myself, telling myself that something good, was not so good.  

In the process of emotional healing I constantly had to reassure myself that I was on the right track. I had to validate that I had been mistreated. (I had been blamed for my problems for so long that I believed I deserved everything that happened to me.) I had to convince myself that I deserved better than the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded for most of my life. I had to start the healing process validating that there was damage that I deserved to heal from. I had to learn to treat myself according to the true definition of love.

And that is a process that I also had to learn to apply to the way that I regarded and treated me.  

I love chocolate and potato chips and convinced myself for years that they were a treat and a comfort that I ‘deserved’. After I ate them however, I never felt good. My reward was really a punishment and I could see flashes of the past intertwined with the ways that I had learned to treat myself. Many of the “rewards” that I had received in my childhood were actually punishments too. Rewards that had “obligation” attached to them and rewards that had a price tag caused me to get my definition of “reward” mixed up. Sometimes rewards were a payment to make up for something bad that happened or a pre payment for something bad that was about to happen. Compliments used for the purpose of grooming me to be compliant made me very wary of compliments; even compliments from myself.  All these things went into the grid of my belief system.  I learned to treat myself the dysfunctional and disrespectful way that I had been treated by others.  I broke agreements that I made with myself, I lied to myself and as a result I no longer trusted myself.

This past year I have been getting deeper at the roots of the trouble I’ve had with self care. I have been looking at where it all began and my own history with “self love and self care”.  I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the way I’ve treated myself and the roots of that treatment and my belief system around that self treatment.  I noticed that I broke agreements with myself. I became aware of how often I lied to myself, conned myself or convinced myself that something that wasn’t good for me, was really not bad for me or that there was a “good reason” to justify it. I saw where I had learned to treat myself that way. I realized that just like with everything else in my life, I had learned it very young. I learned to discount me, just like I had been discounted. And I learned to try harder with myself just like I always tried harder for everyone else but in the end I was never good enough for me; in the end by my own actions, I didn’t show myself love.

About seven months ago as a result of paying closer attention to the way that I regard myself, I started to make some changes in the way that I treat myself and I have been learning to listen to myself when it comes to self care. In the first couple of years of recovery and emotional healing I learned to re-parent myself. I am taking that process to a deeper level now because my understanding is at a deeper level.

SO, my freedom rock is going to be about nurturing my relationship with me in a deeper way and letting go of “self abuse” and self disregard. I am going to take my rock and write my vows to me on it. I am done with discounting myself and my needs. I am going to continue to listen to myself and keep working on regaining my own trust.  

I promised myself that I would finish my book and create a companion work book so that I could generate an income from the full time work that I do here in EFB. The first book has been sitting on my desk waiting to be sorted through for almost a year because I put this website, my blog posts and answering the comments BEFORE myself and my needs. I take breaks when I am burned out instead of before I get burned out, and I spend over $200.00 a month out of my own pocket to support this website. I always told myself that it is my passion for wholeness that drives me to do too much and put the bigger projects that I always had in mind on the back burner but in fact it has been my expectations of myself that have gotten in the way of my completing those projects like my books. It is putting others needs before my own needs, just like I was always trained and taught to do in the past. It is a “left over false belief” that my value can be “proven” by my actions.

One of the readers here shared that she was going to draw a “box” on her Freedom ROCK to represent that she was no longer in it, and she was throwing that BOX into the deep. That really resonated with me as I so often talked about “the box” in the first few years of my emotional healing and could really relate to having been in the box that abuse, neglect and unreasonable expectations from others put me in for most of my life.

I am going to draw an empty box on my Freedom ROCK too.  My box is going to represent “the part of the box” that I still had part of myself in even in recovery. It is going to represent the letting go of unreasonable expectations of myself. It is going to represent that not only have I empowered myself to stand up to abuse and refuse to accept not being treated as equally valuable FROM other people, it will also serve to remind myself that I won’t accept it from ME anymore either!

My freedom rock is going to represent MY declaration of freedom and Wholeness when it comes to self care and self love!

Please share your thoughts and your Freedom ROCKS stories here.  If there are freedom ROCKS stories shared on other freedom ROCKS category posts I might add them to the comments in this post so that people can come and read them all in one place.

Inspiring hope, freedom, wholeness and celebration of life!

Darlene Ouimet                                                             

There are some great ideas for freedom rocks shared in the following related posts and their comments; Freedom ROCKS about page

The Motivation behind Freedom Rocks by Mimi 

What freedom rocks means to me by Lauralee



124 response to "My Freedom ROCKS! Emotional Healing and Self Love"

  1. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th August

    Hi Sandra
    I think that typically women are more comfortable sharing about this stuff. I have had men share using a name that is non gender specific and lots of men use their real names too, just less of them. It isn’t that less men were abused or that they handled it better, just less men sharing.
    hugs, Darlene
    p.s. something interesting though; more men make donations than women!

  2. By: sandra Posted: 27th August

    This is what I felt like when I left my mom’s house at the age of 18 and stopped talking to my father (until now) and to her (until the age of 21). FREE……God, I was literally high on that freedom! I did such a progress in self-development during that period, depression went away itself, I even looked differently (my hair, my complexion). I want to feel this again.

    I am wondering about one thing…..there are more female than male users posting on EFM. When the case is about a mother- daughter relationship than that is obvious, but in other cases….what is it? Is it because guys usually hide their emotions or, is it that they are not such softies as we are…meaning…. I guess… usually when a guy was abused as a kid, he does not give second chances, he leaves at the age of 18 and never ever looks back. I wish I cut myself off from my entire “family” including my sister, like I was planning, but I was too much of a softie, which led me to where I am now….all these things would not have happened if I was more firm and I guess feared less.

  3. By: DarleneOuimet Posted: 9th June

    Something that I realized that helped me a lot was that just because I didn’t react ‘at the time’ didn’t mean it was too late to react.
    Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: JJ Posted: 4th June

    Here is the problem with “I’m done discounting me.” I am reading between lines on your blog, and it appears you had the same problem “connecting to your emotions” as I do. Someone can say something and I have no reaction, but 48 hours later I realize I didn’t like what was said. By then it’s too late.

  5. By: Gayle Geer Posted: 12th June

    Eddie, I’m so blessed to know this touched you on a deep level. It took me years and years to finally understand and believe that. I had only my own perspective to work with until then, which was not reality based. I experienced things as a child and made up my world view as a child. I couldn’t think outside my box…until decades later. Until then, it was all about me and my failure to be good enough, or worthy of love. There is a lot of freedom in discovering the truth. It truly is the truth that sets us free.

    Peace and joy to you, Eddie.


  6. By: Eddie Posted: 12th June

    “It wasn’t your fault your parents couldn’t love you. They had nothing to give.”

    Holy cow, what a profound statement. That resonates so deeply with me and immediately provoked a tearful response. Thanks, Gayle, so much to think on in that.

  7. By: Mimi Posted: 12th June

    Thank you!! Much love sent your way!!! 🙂

  8. By: Gayle Geer Posted: 12th June

    P.S. No one named Linda in my family. I guess one Linda and one Marjorie in each family is more than enough. Thank God!

  9. By: Gayle Geer Posted: 12th June

    Awww…I am blessed to hear your words, too, Mimi. I am giving you a big virtual hug right now. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    You know, you didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t your fault your parents couldn’t love you. They had nothing to give. In spite of all that, you are doing great. I’m so proud of how far you have come. Never forget, everything is going to be okay, Mimi. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    Love and comfort and joy to you,

  10. By: Mimi Posted: 11th June

    I almost forgot…. no Marjories in my family. Haha!! Are there any Linda’s in yours?? I sure hope not!! 🙂

  11. By: Mimi Posted: 11th June

    Awwww, Gayle, you gave me tears!!! You’re right!! Everything will be okay. I have needed to hear those words so often in life, particularly when I was young and hiding out from my dad’s fits of drunken anger. Those words really go a LONG way in helping people feel better. Thank you for that!!

    Your kids and grandkids are blessed to have heard those comforting words from you!! 🙂
    Love and Hope,

  12. By: Gayle Geer Posted: 11th June

    Thank you for your response to my message, Mimi. Yes, we have a lot in common. Ummm…does your mother have a sister or aunt named Marjorie? LOL.

    “Everything will be okay.” I never heard those words, either, but I, too, know they would have helped tremendously with calming my fears and giving me hope (neither of which I experienced).

    “Everything will be okay.” I’ve used those words with my kids and my grandkids and many other hurting women.

    I didn’t realize how big that is until you mentioned it. Thank for for that. I won’t forget.

    And, by the way, Mimi, everything will be okay.


  13. By: Mimi Posted: 11th June

    Thank you for sharing your Rock story!! That’s awesome… except for the accident part. I hope you’re recovering well and taking good care of yourself.

    Fear has been a big cloud over my life too. Irrational and debilitating fears. I hope to be completely free of them as I learn to better self parent. I think as a young child, there was so much chaos in our house, no one ever thought to say, “everything will be okay.” Not that mother would have said those words even if they did happen to hit her in the head, but, either way, it was never spoken and comfort in the form of affection wasn’t there either. I don’t think it occurred to mother to say those words or offer affection because she couldn’t take the focus off herself long enough to think how her kids might be doing in all of it. I remember if there was a particularly big chaotic event in our house, my sisters, mother and I would go places (say, my maternal grandparents house) and the talk was always about my poor mom and all she’d been through. She told the stories with emphasis on herself and how horrible it was for her. We sat quietly. No one asked if it was horribly terrifying for us. They were too busy absorbing the drama my mother was spewing. I don’t fault anyone for that really. It’s just the way it was. If anyone were at fault though, it would be mother dear! She’s masterful at sucking people in and it’s evident in her life still today. I’m happy to report she’s taken her last suck of my life’s blood. That game is over with me, permanently.

    Anyhow, I really just wanted to share that I have similar fear issues. Got off on a little tangent there, as I often do!!
    Speedy recovery sent your way Gayle!!
    Peace and hugs,

  14. By: Gayle Geer Posted: 9th June


    Greetings, All ~

    This is a belated sharing of my experience with the FREEDOM ROCKS. I am so late in posting this because I nearly died in an accident on Maui two days after I threw the rocks in the ocean and have been (and still am) in recovery since then. That’s what I get for procrastinating on sharing my experience with y’all. LOL

    The story about the accident is for another time and place; this is about FREEDOM ROCKS.

    On Mother’s Day (May 13), I wrote on three rocks and then threw them from a cliff into the ocean water near Lahaina on Maui. We had arrived on the island the day before. My husband was with me and took photos of the rocks and of them sailing through the air and into the water, one at a time.

    Rock #2 said: “OCCULT GONE! NO MORE CURSE!
    Rock #3 said: “NO MORE FEAR! THANK YOU JESUS!

    Although I have been working on my issues for decades, I was only able to finally experience the FREEDOM from my destructive mother, the multi-generational curse on my family, and my irrational, debilitating fears this year (due to God’s supernatural intervention in my life).

    Thank you, Darlene and Mimi and all who participated in the meaningful event. Because of you I was able to physically do something to celebrate my FREEDOM. YOU ALL ROCK!

    Peace, joy, love and hope to you all.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th June

      Hi Gayle!!
      Oh my gosh about your accident, I am so glad you are recovering now! (hope to hear the story when you feel like sharing it)
      Thanks for sharing your freedom rocks story! That is awesome! How cool that you could do it there. I was in Mexico a few weeks ago and thinking about you throwing your rock in Hawaii! I was thinking about throwing a rock into the ocean one of these times too!
      Thanks for sharing your hope and your victories!
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st May

    Hi Mimi and Drained
    Yes, I have seen that movie! HAA I thought it was really funny too!
    Hugs, Darlene
    p.s. baby steps you guys…

  16. By: Mimi Posted: 20th May

    LOL…. me too. I identified with Bob’s neediness, and with Dr. Marvin’s perfectionism and frustration. So funny!!

  17. By: Drained Posted: 20th May

    Mimi, Yes! Gill. LOL. Definitely watching that movie again soon. I could relate to Murray’s character, but could also relate to Dreyfuss’s frustration.

  18. By: Mimi Posted: 20th May

    I was thinking the same thing as I was typing…. I’m going to have to watch it again now. I’ve seen it a bunch of times too. So funny! I named a goldfish after Bob’s fish once. Gill…. remember him?? In the mason jar around Bob’s neck? What a hoot!!

  19. By: Drained Posted: 20th May

    Darlene, thanks for the update on the photos. Enjoy that vacation!!!

    Mimi, I LOVE “What About Bob” and have seen it many, many times. It always makes me laugh out loud. Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray were hilarious together and I wished they would have made a sequel, or at least another film together. I will have to watch it again now. Great summertime movie.

  20. By: Mimi Posted: 20th May

    YAY for you!! You have coached a bajillion people on how to take care of oneself! I am happy you’re taking that message to heart!! I still need you to be an inspiration. So, I need you to take good care of yourself, to enable you to continue. ENJOY your vacation.

    Have you ever seen that movie, “what about Bob?” If not, you should watch it someday. So funny!! I thought of you going on vacation and having folks hunting you down, lol!! Please know I won’t do that! I want you to take it easy and take care of YOU!!
    Blessings, safety, and FUN for your vacation!!

  21. By: laura Posted: 19th May

    Hi there, i am in awe of all you brave women. My life is in turmoil but i am better off than most,(well, thats what people tell me) My own mother was Alcoholic, my father gambled, the only stable person in my life was my grandfather and he died when i was 11.. so i was pretty much on my own. No self esteem, reading others posts about self loathing and being a pleaser were all too real. I married a control freak thinking he would look after me and he turned out to be a bigger mental abuser than anyone else. I had three sons, tried to over compensate i suppoe for his lack of attachment to them. He worked and provided, thats what he thought his role should be. His sister told me they lived in “controlled hysteria” his mother was an absolute tyrant. After 42 years being married to him and wanting the boys to have the best of things (i must try not to say i stuck it out for them, but i did !!) My eldest son’s marriage broke up and he came home, my middle son got married and left home, my youngest son still living at home. I got really sick and needed a serious operation. My husband chose to ignore me being ill, after the op, left me alone for days with no food, leaving me to make the two sons living at home, not responsible for my care. My eldest son stood up to the plate and best he could looked after me. I realised after 7 months of laying in bed wanting to die that this was not how it was supposed to be and decided to leave and divorce him… My solicitor was shocked at my Affidavit of emotional abuse often quotes my case to others and i made a bit for freedom. I lived in the marital home for 2 years in one room (i still cooked and cleaned for the ex till the day i left, thats how guilty he made me feel ) My youngest and middle son took their fathers part in all this and i am now estranged from them. My eldest son was kicked out of the house as well and we are together in a small house with my grandchildren visiting frequently which keeps me going. I have food issues, like bulimia which is getting worse.
    I am at a loss to know what to do about the two sons who want nothing to do with me. It is such a mess. I too have fallen foul of men who treat me like second best i.e. “unobtainable”. I have thought about just giving up and instead of a rock with things written on it i should throw myself in the nearest lake. Reading what others have written about their mothers, i am wondering if thats how my sons see me ? what do i do about it, i write to my other grandaughter who i never see, send her gifts and cards, also send my sons xmas presents and cards, but i get no reply. My ex has done such a good hatchet job on me and is still orchestrating my life with his control. How do i get my sons to talk to me and their brother, it grieves me terribly to see my family fragmented. AND….. ITS ALL MY FAULT. (thats what i believe !) i cannot yet get my head around the years of abuse apart from re-living it and its too painfull.. I am afraid of men, dont trust them. I would not want anyone to have to deal with the consequences of someone else’s abuse. I have so many hang ups. If anyone looks at me i am embarrased, cant take compliments and hate the way i look. Sorry this is getting long and boring. Does it get better ? i left my abuser 9 months ago. So glad i found your web link, its giving me at least some hope that maybe i’m not as bad as they think i am.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th May

      Hi Laura
      Welcome to emerging from broken. The most important thing you can do to begin here is read some more of the articles and comments written here and try to do what YOU need to do for yourself first before you try to fix all the other relationships you are writing aobut. There is hope for healing; I write about how I sorted all this stuff out. It is a process but there is hope! It does get better. My life is nothing like it used to be; I have wonderful relationships with my husband and children and I have blance and health now too.
      Hugs, Darlene

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th May

        Hi Everyone
        I have recieved some freedom rocks photos from a few of the readers. Uploading them all to one page is harder than I thought ~ they don’t always stay where I want them so I decided to do it after my vacation. True to my post I am taking some time off and going on a vacation. I will check on the blog but I won’t be uploading anything new while I am gone. Please continue to share with each other and read old posts; the only thing missing will be me! I will be back in June.
        Hugs and love Darlene

        p.s. thank you to the three people (in case you didn’t get my thank you notes) who gave me a donation as a result of this post. I am 1/3 of the way towards meeting my expenses for emerging from broken for next month.

  22. By: Diane Posted: 19th May

    Darlene..thanks for the encouragement! I needed it because I have a wonderful husband who is kind and has such a sweetness about him, and he is also one of the most stubborn men I have ever met! I see humor in our situation even though i am equally irritated/frustrated! I don’t enjoy yelling and screaming to get my own way….and I am convinced there are more effective and less draining ways …..but because he is so stubborn it is going to probably be a very long process with us. I also can sense in myself such a desire to stick up for myself that it would be too easy to throw caution to the wind and really hurt him….and I don’t choose to do that because this double standard (that’s a great way to put it!). Is as much because of me allowing it as it is of him….so he has never had to change , if that makes sense? It really is comforting to hear that you also have been thru similar issues…and it didnt kill off you marriage!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th May

      Sounds like your husband is worth the effort!! My husband was all that too. As I healed, we healed. As I grew I saw the ways to explain to him things OR to let him do his work and figure it out. Sometimes I resorted to methods that mirrored how he treated me. He HATED that but it sure got the point accross. He thought he should get points for trying and that I should let things go when he messed up. That was a tough one but I kept telling him that was like a man saying “well I haven’t hit you for 3 months, can’t I just hit you once?” the whole thing is about being equally valuable. He didn’t think that my needs WERE as important than his and when it came right down to it, that was the block he had to remove.
      Hugs, Darlene

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